Community-based integrated care calls for ‘real change’ on the workforce

Paige Halliday, Integrated Community Care Social Worker, with Martin, one of the people she supports. Photography by Katie Neeves from Martin Neeves Photography & Film

Community Integrated Care is investing £3million in workforce compensation – the second increase it has provided in the last six months.

Frontline support workers will receive £10 per hour in England and £11 per hour in Scotland from next month when increases in National Insurance contributions come into effect as part of the Health and Care Tax social.

The rates are above both the government’s national living wage and the voluntary real wage recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

The increase means that a support worker in England working 40 hours a week will receive an annual salary of £20,857, or an additional £625 (gross) per year. There will be equivalent increases for the roles of Advanced Support Worker and Charity Nurses.

The investment in the charity’s 5,000 staff follows £5m which was spent to improve pay, rewards and employee wellbeing in autumn 2021.

“As the social services sector continues its battle against low pay and skills shortages, our charity is proud to be in a position where we can help fulfill our commitment to value and fairly reward our colleagues for the outstanding work they do,” said Mark Adams, executive director of Community Integrated Care.

“We urgently need central government action, including sustainable funding and an effective workforce strategy, to address the significant challenges facing social care. In the meantime, our association will continue to advocate for real change, so that these rates become the norm and not the exception in our sector.

Since October, the government has announced more than £460million to support recruitment and retention in the sector. In addition, £500m for training, skills and workforce welfare has been announced as part of the levy.

However, the latest figures show that vacancies in the sector fell from 9.4% to 9.5% between December 2021 and January 2022.

Last month, Making Space said it was investing just under £500,000 to bring pay rises to all frontline care and support workers.

Michael A. Bynum